If an employee sustains an industrial injury while working, they can receive workers’ compensation benefits from their employer regardless of fault or negligence. However, in certain cases, the employee may have been injured by the fault or negligence of a third party. The injured worker is the first party, the employer is the second party, and the negligent or at-fault person or entity is the third party.
In these cases, the injured employee has two options: they can seek remedies through the workers’ compensation system and file a claim or lawsuit for damages against the liable third party.
In a third-party claim, the injured employee can seek damages for all losses suffered as a result of the third party’s negligence, actions, or failure to act. Unlike workers’ compensation cases, the injured employee can recover damages such as actual loss of income, loss of future income, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. There may even be a claim for punitive damages against the responsible third party.
It is essential to determine whether an accident or injury includes third-party liability since these cases can recover significantly more for the injured worker than workers’ compensation claims alone. In certain cases, this could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars more.
Common occurrences involving third-party liability include automobile/truck accidents while working, premises liability, slips and falls, products liability, and construction site or other work site locations involving other employers or workers of companies. It is crucial to share all facts, no matter how minor or insignificant they might seem, with your attorney and to ask whether they have evaluated your claim for potential third-party liability.
Lastly, it is important to take pictures of the area of the incident, the materials, equipment, vehicles, or other implements that may have contributed to your injury. This could be something as simple as tripping over something or slipping on something. Taking pictures can be helpful in providing evidence and strengthening your case.